U.S. stock futures slightly higher as traders await Fauci testimony

new coronavirus

Stocks set to open in positive territory

U.S. stocks are set to open slightly higher on Tuesday as countries and states plan to reopen their economies amid fears of a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections.

Market players will be watching keenly as top U.S. specialists on infectious diseases appear via video link at a Senate hearing later today to lay out key points for safely reopening the coronavirus-hit economy.

According to a report on the New York Times, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci plans to warn senators that prematurely reopening the economy will cause “needless suffering and death” for Americans.

At press time, futures tied to the Dow were up 62 points, or 0.26% to 24,186. S&P 500 futures rose 4.37 points, or 0.15% to 2,927.12 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures gained 16.88 points, or 0.18% to 9,295.88.

Elon Musk reopens Tesla’s California factory, dares officials to arrest him

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA)’s CEO Elon Musk announced yesterday that the electric car maker’s facility in Fremont, California is open and has resumed production in defiance of a stay-at-home order issued by Alameda County.

In a tweet, the billionaire boss said he was ready to be arrested himself if necessary. “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me,” he wrote.

Over the weekend, the billionaire boss filed a lawsuit against the county and threatened to pull Tesla’s headquarters out of California if the facility was not allowed to resume operations. The Fremont factory has remained shut since March 23rd after Alameda County officials and the governor of California issued a stay-at-home order.

Tesla shares were little changed in the premarket trading session Tuesday.

Crude futures positive after Saudi Arabia announces more output cuts

Crude futures was also moving up on Tuesday morning after Saudi Arabia pledged to lower its oil out by an additional 1 million barrels a day beginning in June.

The move, which comes after the historic production cut deal between OPEC and its allies in April, is aimed at providing extra support to crude prices rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kuwait and the UAE have also promised to cut production next month by an additional 100,000 b/d and 80,000 b/d, respectively.

As of this writing, U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $25.44 per barrel, up $1.3, or 5.39%. Global Brent crude futures gained 89 cents, or 3% to $30.52 per barrel.